Kevin Barry in The Rumpus

13Dec13

I love these Rumpus author interviews. They keep me going as a writer. Here’s an excerpt from one with Kevin Barry, whose work I know nothing about, but hopefully will very soon:

Rumpus: Can fiction writers avoid revealing themselves in their work?

Barry: Not at all. In fiction, I think, your soul is pinned onto the page in every sentence you write. I think you can hide in an essay. You can hide in a piece of nonfiction. You can put on facades, and so forth. I don’t think you can do that in fiction. I think everything about you, despite all your best efforts, will come out on the page.

Rumpus: You said last night it’s easier to lie in nonfiction.

Barry: I’ve always thought that. Especially with that debate that was current for a while—after the David Shields book Reality Hunger—“Has fiction had its day? Or, “Are we tiring of what seems like a false presentation of supposed realities?” But I think fiction is a truer mode, because it’s so hard to lie there. You have less control in fiction. You can get away with less there. And that’s what makes it magical. That’s what makes it really interesting.

Read the whole thing here.

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